• Parents were given a set of books and were asked to read to their two-week-old babies
  • Infants who got daily readings demonstrated improved language scores as early as nine months
  • It is clear that these benefits can and should begin earlier in life: Researchers

New parents who want to boost their infants' language development should start reading a book to them daily. Consistent parental reading may help improve their kids' language scores, a new study has found.

In their work, which was published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, a team of researchers looked at the benefits of reading to infants.

"While the benefits of reading to toddlers (over 12 months old) is well-established, benefits of reading to infants (birth to 12 months old) is less established," they wrote.

The team conducted a randomized study wherein parents were given a set of 20 select children's books. One group of parents (Group A) didn't receive instructions on what to do, but the parents in Group B were given the same set of books and instructed to read a book per day to their infants.

The parents were given logbooks to take note of their readings, and the infants were tested for expressive and receptive language.

Researchers found the infants who got consistent, daily readings of at least one book, starting from two weeks, had improved language scores, the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine noted in a news release. The "significant increases" happened by nine months of age.

"Initial similarities indicate that very young infants are not inherently dissimilar at first and the widening into significance likely displays the cumulative effect of regular reading," they wrote. "As current literature states, starting a consistent reading program with toddlers improves their future language and academic success. It is clear that these benefits can and should begin earlier in life."

In other words, the consistency in reading may have been the key to their improvement, and starting the practice early could give them a beneficial boost from nine months of age.

"One book each day is an easy goal for new families to try. To see that there is a measurable improvement in speaking and understanding before one year old is very exciting," said study corresponding author Adam M. Franks, of Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

"While our team is excited about our findings, the real winners are the participating children and families in this area that have been benefited from the bonding experience of experiencing this co-reading through their participation in the project," Franks added.

Representation. Pixabay